7 Ways To Spice Up Your French Onion Soup, But Not Too Much

how to fix bland french onion soup

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having bland French onion soup, don’t fret.

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There are many things you can do to make your soup taste better.

Follow these simple tips and tricks and add the flavor back into your French onion soup!

What is French onion soup?

French onion soup is a classic French soup, a favorite of many.

It’s made with onions, beef stock, wine, cheese, and many other ingredients and seasonings.

It’s a very filling soup, and it’s delicious! In this recipe, you can use any kind of onion, but red onions give it a nice color.

The soup is best served with a slice of French bread, which you can dip into the broth.

If you like, add some chopped green onions on top before serving.

Common mistakes when making French onion soup

French onion soup is a classic dish, but it is not always easy to make or comes out perfectly.

Here are some common mistakes that most of us make while making this French soup:

  • Too heavy or too thin: This can be a problem if you use too little or too much liquid, either water or stock.

The perfect consistency of French onion soup is creamy and soupy.

  • Not cooking the onions long enough to become soft, sweet, and caramelly is another common mistake when making French onion soup.

Remember: the longer you cook them, the sweeter they’ll get!

  • Overseasoned or underseasoned: Both can result in an unappealing soup.

If it is too salty or bland, you need to find a way to save the dish and make it become balanced and palatable again.

Why is my French onion soup bland?

So you are serving French onion soup, but the first sip is disappointing because it has no taste.


  • Lack of caramelization.

Caramelized onions are key to a delicious French onion soup.

You want the onions to be soft and juicy but also browned and rich in flavor from the caramelization process.

  • Lack of seasonings.

Salt and other spices bring out flavors in foods, so it’s important to season your soup correctly before serving it.

If you don’t have enough seasonings, your soup will taste bland.

  • Lack of acidity.

Acidic ingredients like vinegar or lemon juice can help balance the rich onion flavor with a bright note that makes everything come together nicely and taste better overall!

  • Too much water/stock.

Adding too much liquid will dilute all those delicious flavors we’ve been talking about into something bland like plain water.

  • Use low-quality ingredients.

The quality of your ingredients is one of the most important things to consider when making soup.

If you use low-quality ingredients, it will show.

The best way to ensure that your soup tastes great is by using fresh ingredients from the farmer’s market or grocery store.

How to fix bland French onion soup?

Don’t worry if your French onion soup is tasteless.

Check out the following tips to save it:

Add salt

If your soup is bland, adding salt is the most common fix.

The amount of salt you add will depend on how much salt is in your soup to begin with.

If you’re making a broth from scratch, adding salt at the end of cooking is best, so the flavors have time to meld together and develop.

Don’t overdo it; otherwise, your soup will turn out too salty.

Add wine

The key to fixing bland French onion soup is to add wine.

Wine adds flavor and depth to this soup, so it’s important that you pick the right kind of wine for your dish.

If you’re new to cooking with wine, try red for a richer flavor or white for a lighter one.

How much wine should I add? This depends on the size of your pot and how many onions you plan on adding to it.

Don’t turn your soup into an alcoholic beverage, though.

Add vinegar

Lucy's Family Owned - Natural Distilled White Vinegar, 1 Gallon (128...

The addition of vinegar to French onion soup is a classic remedy for curing the problem of blandness.

While not all home chefs will have vinegar at hand, it’s worth looking into whether you have any in the pantry.

If so, this is the perfect time to use it.

Vinegar adds acidity and brightness to soups—it can also help balance out flavors by adding an acidic component that helps cut through dense broths and sauces (like those in French onion soup).

The best kinds are balsamic or sherry vinegar.

If you don’t have these on hand, apple cider vinegar will do just fine as well! But take care not too much as this can make things taste sour rather than brightened!

Add spices and herbs

Your French onion soup is bland if you need to add some seasoning.

There are many ways to do this, but the easiest way is to just throw in any of the spices and herbs, such as garlic, bay leaves, thyme, chives, parsley, or nutmeg.

Ground peppers can also add a spicy kick and make your soup more flavorful.

Add stock

The first thing to do if your French onion soup is bland is add more flavor, and there’s no better place to start than beef stock.

If you’re a vegan, go ahead with vegetable stock.

It is still flavorful while low in fat and calories and contains no meat.

If you’re unsure how much beef or vegetable stock to add, start with a cup of broth and adjust accordingly.

You can always add more later if the soup is still too bland.

After adding stock, don’t forget to simmer the soup for a while to reach the perfect texture.

Add dairy

You can also add dairy to your French onion soup if you’re looking for a dish with a creamy, rich consistency.

Cheese, cream, or butter already have their saltiness that can add not only the creaminess but also the flavor that your soup is missing.

Add fish sauce

Red Boat Fish Sauce, 8.45 Fluid Ounce

Adding fish sauce is an interesting way to flavor your French onion soup, and it is a popular Asian condiment.

Fish sauce is a great way to add flavor to French onion soup because it’s salty, which will help balance out the sweetness of the onions, and it also has umami properties that will boost the savory flavor of the soup even more.

Isn’t it great to combine different cuisines in one dish?


So, next time you’re in the mood for some French onion soup, don’t let it get bland on you! You know have the secret to making delicious and flavorful French onion soup.

Don’t forget to experiment with different types of onions and wines as well!